Food Safety Summit’s Attendance Surges 12 Percent in Rosemont
With the subject of food safety in the news after various recalls across the United States, it’s no wonder the 18th Annual Food Safety Summit, held recently for the first time in Rosemont, attracted nearly 1,700 registered food safety professionals.
Attendance was a 12-percent increase in registered attendees, compared with last year’s event, and more than 200 exhibiting companies also were on the showfloor, a 20-percent increase from 2015.
During the three-day event, which is run by BNP Media and was held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, food safety professionals discussed the most pressing issues facing the food industry including Listeria, the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act and the Integration of the Nation's Food Safety System, as well as liability and jail time.
"We thank our Educational Advisory Board who developed a stellar conference program, as well as our sponsors, who helped to support this dynamic conference and all of our exhibitors, speakers and attendees," said Scott Wolters, director for the Food Safety Summit.
He added, "We heard from so many people during the three-day event how important it is to participate in the Food Safety Summit to gather tools for today and make plans for tomorrow."
The event kicked off with three certification programs including Preventive Controls for Human Foods, presented by Donna Schaffner from Rutgers Food Innovation Center; Food Safety Auditor Training presented by Patricia Wester of PA Wester Consulting and Seafood HACCP presented by NEHA.
Conference attendees also participated in the 2nd Annual AFDO Integration Forum, which was hosted by Joe Corby.
In addition, there were three workshops on Process Validation, Pre-Requisite Programs and the Food Safety Professionals Road Map to Success.
The Welcome Reception offered attendees an opportunity to network with 202 vendors, a 20-percent increase in companies, that showcased specialty products and services designed to help food safety professionals do their job more effectively and efficiently.
Major leaders in the industry presented in the conference program included senior executives from the FDA, McDonald's, Wegman's, and Reser's Foods, who shared their insights on the future of the food safety environment during the opening day keynote presentation.
During the 5th Annual Town Hall FDA's Mike Taylor, USDA's David Goldman, AFDO's Joe Corby, and CDC's Robert Tauxe discussed how the agencies are working together on food safety initiatives and exciting new developments such as Whole Genome Sequencing which will have a revolutionary impact on the industry.
Attendees also took part in the Food Safety Summit Gives Back Networking Reception to benefit Feeding America.
Chuck Wilson of BNP Media presented Mitzi Baum, Director of Food Safety for Feeding America, with a donation of $5,550 to help provide 64,000 meals on behalf of the sponsors, speakers, exhibitors and attendees.
On the showfloor, 202 exhibiting companies including Gold Sponsor Roka Bioscience, Silver Sponsor Alchemy Systems and Bronze Sponsor Eurofins met with attendees to showcase their new products and services.
Two full days of presentations from exhibitors were offered in the Exhibitor Showcase Theatres, as a chance for attendees to hear from subject matter experts about the newest solutions and technologies in food safety and security.
The 2017 Food Safety Summit will again be held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center May 9-11.